Back in 2014, I wrote about six different universities and a community college that were all petitioning the FAA to become exempt from the requirement to hold a ground school certification so that they could participate in the R-ATP program.
That post had become somewhat stale, so here is a look back at what happened in the past few years.
Chandler-Gilbert Community College was denied its exemption in November 2017 and as of May 2018 was not authorized to certify R-ATP applicants.
Metropolitan State University of Denver was denied its exemption in July 2014 and as of May 2018 was not authorized to certify R-ATP applicants.
Denied and Then Authorized
Baylor University was denied its exemption in December 2014 and later gained R-ATP authorization in February 2016.
Eastern Michigan University was denied its exemption in August 2015 and later gained R-ATP authorization in July 2016.
Jacksonville University formally withdrew its petition for exemption in September 2016 and gained R-ATP authorization later that same month.
Auburn University was granted its exemption in November 2015, allowing Part 61 students who graduated between August 2010 and December 2016 to apply for R-ATP.
Purdue University was granted its exemption in July 2014, allowing Part 61 students who graduated between January 2009 and December 2016 to apply for R-ATP.
A search on federal websites revealed the FAA denied Eastern Michigan University’s exemption petition for R-ATP flight training last month. “The FAA has fully considered the petitioner’s supporting information and has determined the relief requested is not in the public interest and would adversely affect safety.” This decision is not surprising in light of the two-year delay and similar decisions preventing other Part 141 flight students from obtaining eligibility certification for a Restricted ATP check ride.
In its letter, the FAA gives this official response:
Based on the FAA’s records, EMU does not hold a part 141 ground school certificate. The FAA reviewed the description that EMU provided of its arrangement with EFC for the ground and flight training of students enrolled in its Aviation Flight Technology program. The arrangement does not meet the intent of having the ground training integrated with the broader academic curriculum. EMU does not have control over the curriculum provided by EFC and the FAA would have no oversight responsibilities with EMU because it does not hold a part 141 pilot school certificate. Therefore, the FAA has determined that EMU’s aviation degree program does not meet the minimum level of integrating its pilot ground training with its broader academic curriculum of an aviation degree program.
Update: R-ATP Exemption Follow-Up
My searches on federal websites found four petitions by universities seeking R-ATP authorization without a required part 141 ground school certificate.
The petitioners are, in alphabetical order: Eastern Michigan University, Jacksonville University, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and Purdue University.
Letters and documents filed by these universities seem to be routine. I will point out also that the Jacksonville petition included a copy of the university’s rejection letter from the FAA dated December 2013.
While the FAA is not currently accepting comments on these petitions, I would like to offer my encouragement. The FAA should authorize these universities as rapidly as possible, recognizing they are accredited institutions that offer 4-year degrees with aviation concentrations. This is the purpose and intent of the R-ATP program, after all.
Details and reference numbers are listed below, in chronological order.
Continue reading R-ATP Exemption for Part 61 Training